Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Alaina Reed-Amini, 1946-2009. R.I.P.

Actress/singer Alaina Reed-Amini died on December 17th after a two year battle with breast cancer. She was 63.

Reed was best known to millions of children as Olivia on Sesame Street where she played Gordon's younger sister. She joined the cast in 1976 and would remain until 1988. Reed was also part of the cast of the TV comedy 227 starring Marla Gibbs which aired from 1985 to 1990 on NBC.

Here she is singing a duet with George Benson on the set of Sesame Street. The sound quality isn't great but it is a nice song to remember her by.

As a child it was easy to think that those who were on Sesame Street lived inside the television including the human cast members. As a child I could not imagine they were real people with lives away from the Childrens' Television Workshop. To this day, it's funny to see those cast members in other settings. I remember seeing Emilio Delgado (Luis a.k.a. Mr. Fix It) on an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent and had to do a doubletake. Or years ago when Bob McGrath (a.k.a. Bob) appeared at Carnegie Hall for a tribute to Harry Chapin.

Needless to say, the death of one of the cast members is bit more jarring. You almost feel like Big Bird did when he found out Mr. Hooper had died.

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